Look Closely for the Wires [3/5]
Those with a taste for Wuxia film will enjoy the authenticity of kicking martial butt through BioWare's rich world of (mostly) traditional Chinese fantasy, but this title is not without it's fair share of problems.
Nearly a decade after first release, it would be unrealistic to expect Jade Empire to represent the pinnacle of modern gaming experience; but if you can get past the idea that 2005 brought more than just the meteoric rise of WoW and a sequel to Battlefield, there is still plenty of entertainment to be had.
For the most part, bags of kung-pow action, offbeat one-liners and a colourful cast including John Cleese (yes, that John Cleese) distract from the game's more serious shortcomings; and although far from perfect, the story is strong enough to carry you most of the way with tongue planted firmly in cheek.
Combat is the clear focus for much of the title, and while hardcore gamers will probably be disappointed at the simplicity of A-buttoning your opponent(s) to a meaty pulp, there are a number of different fighting styles to switch between that keep beatings somewhat fresh.
Taking nothing away from many other reviewers who could not get this title to run at all, somewhat surprisingly, Jade Empire fired up first time on my own modest system (Win7, 32 bit). Aside from one story-halting bug about half way through - fixed with a simple patch in my case - the title ran without hitch. Judging by other reviews however, I'd be wary of purchasing this title for a Windows 8 system.
Despite the age of this title, the occasional bug, and it's clunky, badly dated interface, I'd still recommend this to those with a love of Wuxia, or just looking for something a little different.